Gadgets for humans

Did you know you can copy and paste between Apple devices? YOU DO NOW

Forgive me, Mr. Tim Apple, for I have sinned

header image how to copy and paste between Apple devices ios macOS

I have been living the life of a fool. If I needed to copy and paste something between my iPhone and Mac, I would either email it to myself or use a cloud-synced note app like Evernote. Today though, everything changed: because I discovered there’s an in-built way to copy and paste between Apple devices.

This morning I needed to move a bit of text from phone to my computer. For some reason, in this specific circumstance, I remembered that back in 2009 I used to have a fancy little clipboard app that allowed me to do this easily. “Did this exist still?” I wondered to myself.

I did what any good online sleuth would in this situation and — here’s the surprising part — searched for it on Google. Take a second to appreciate my skills, please. Please. I need this.

Anyway, it turns out there’s an in-built feature on Apple devices that allows you to copy and paste between them. And I had no idea. None, zero. Shame, friends, is the name of the emotion currently wracking me.

How to copy and paste between different Apple devices

Firstly, you need to make sure a few things are in order. These are that:

  • Your devices are signed into the same iCloud account
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on

Once you’ve done that, you need to enable Handoff. To do so on iOS (or iPadOS) go into Settings. Then select General and head into AirPlay & Handoff. It should look like this:

how to copy and paste from iPhone to Mac
BLESS THIS GLORIOUS FEATURE.

If you’re wanting to enable cross-device copy and paste on macOS, you need to head into Settings on that machine too. From there, click on General, and put a tick next to the section that mentions Handoff. Specifically, this one:

copy and paste macos Handoff checkbox
TICK THAT BOX, LOVER.

Once all that’s done, you should be able to copy and paste between your Apple devices to your heart’s content. This works with text, images, and videos — and it’s amazing.

Finding this out has really improved my day. Thanks, world.

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Published February 11, 2021 — 10:12 UTC